Lionel Messi has finally fulfilled his football destiny.
The World Cup was the only trophy that had eluded the football megastar throughout his decorated career.
That was until he dragged his nation kicking and screaming to glory in Qatar, completing a fairytale story of the local lad from Rosario who became a global icon.
Argentina’s victory over France ended a 36-year drought for the country who hadn’t lifted the ultimate prize in all of football since Diego Maradona’s heroics back in 1986.
And just as the man heralded as ‘God’ in Argentina did in 1986, Messi was lifted above the rest of his teammates, holding the trophy high above his head in what will undoubtedly become a legendary photograph.
The people of Argentina finally have their new football ‘god’ to adore.
Maradona’s celebrations atop teammates’ shoulders at the Estadio Azteca is perhaps one of the most iconic images in football history.
So it was only befitting that Messi’s former teammate Sergio Aguero lifted the new GOAT into the air to emulate such a photo.
Messi has forever been compared to the former Argentina number 10.
The comparisons and debates over who really was the greatest will continue to rage on, however, one thing is for sure, Messi and Maradona deserve to sit on a pedestal on their own.
After kissing the trophy following a stunning final, Messi said: “I was lucky to have achieved almost everything — and what I was missing is here.
“This was the trophy I wanted all my life. This was my childhood dream.
“It’s madness. It’s the most beautiful thing there is. Look how she is, she’s gorgeous. I wanted her so much. I had a vision this would be the one. She was getting closer.
“It’s crazy it happened this way. I knew God was going to give it to me. It’s simply unbelievable. It’s a big joy for us.
“We suffered a lot but we got it. I wanted to close my career with World Cup. I can’t ask more than this.”
There was a clear love in Messi’s eyes when he finally got to put his hands on the illustrious trophy.
Just as Messi was the standout player for the tournament, and the rightful winner of the Golden Ball, Maradona also led Argentina to their historic win in 1986.
In that same tournament, he scored the iconic ‘Hand of God’ and ‘Goal of the Century’ against England in the quarter-final.
The former Napoli player scored a total of five goals in that tournament.
He was head and shoulders above the rest throughout and was rightfully given the Golden Ball award that year.